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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Jazz Fest 2011 - Jimmy Buffett by Gordon Robinette

So, this week the came the official and announcement of the 2011 Jazz Fest poster. The poster is a highly sought after commodity for many music consessieurs and collectors. Both the subjects and the artists vary through the years since the poster advertising the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1975. The great Louis Prima was immortalized by the great Tony Bennett last year — a true collectors’ item on several levels.

Louis Prima 2010 - Tony Bennett

Probably the most identifiable and beloved Jazz Fest posters were done by James Michalopoulos. He uses the splendid French Quarter architecture as a backdrop for several New Orleans legends who have been mainstays of Jazz Fest and of New Orleans music. The series of Dr. John, Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint all convey exactly what Jazz Fest is about and the greats that have made IT great.

Dr. John, Louis "Satchemo" Armstrong, Fats Domino, Allen Touissaint

And then there’s the great Cajun artist, George Rodrigue, of Blue Dog fame — and recent savior of the Youngsville Heritage Oak. Rodrigue combines his iconical dark oak tree and ever-popular blue dog to immortalize Louis Armstrong (once again), Pete Fountain and the great Al Hirt.

Satchemo, Pete Fountain & Al Hirt

Again, these images capture the essence of these great talents and their impact on Jazz music and making New Orleans its “Mecca”.

So, imagine my surprise at this year’s poster. First, the artist is Gordon Robinette. Robinette IS well known in New Orleans, but not as an artist. He is best known as a talking head/talk show host at WJBO radio station. I must say that as an artist, he is quite accomplished. I do like how he borrowed from the much beloved concept of Michalopoulos’ use of French Quarter architecture and I am impressed that he includes a future Jimmy Buffett looking over his shoulder at the young, broke street performer behind a Falcon, no less. (Which reminds me…I have a long, lost story about a Falcon. But I digress…that’s for another day.)

However, I am perplexed at just why Jimmy Buffett is featured on a JAZZ FEST poster? Now, don’t get me wrong. My Jimmy love is strong. See here, here & here. But this choice seems a bit indulgent. Is it a payback for Jimmy’s fantastic support during last year’s oil spill crisis and his wonderful free concert that many homies considered his “homecoming” to the Gulf Coast?

Or, perhaps it was meant to bolster Jimmy’s spirits after his recent dive off the stage in Australia? A pat on the back for investing in the coast by expanding his Magaritaville franchise in Pensacola, FL and Biloxi, MS? Dunno. But one thing I DO know is that Jimmy Buffett is not the impactful son of the South that the other icons that graced Jazz Fest posters before him.

I DO love Jimmy…but I’m conflicted. He is from Mobile, AL…where I live. He has played here ZERO times since he graduated from McGill Institute back in 1966 (He was a cheerleader, for Christ’s sake). His concert at the Gulf was the first time he’s played there in forever, even though his sister, Lulu, has a VERY popular bar/restaurant on the Intercoastal Canal in Gulf Shores. Jimmy is more a child of Key West and the Carribean. A few years ago, he started playing Jazz Fest, but he has NEVER been a staple there. While Robinette’s portrait refers to Jimmy’s street performing in the late ’60s, the fact is that Jimmy Buffett spent a relatively short period of time on the gummy, stinky streets of the French Quarter before heading out to Californina and ultimately, grounding himself in South Florida.

So, to wrap this all up…I am pumped up about the Jimmy poster because of the awesomeness that is Jimmy Buffett and all he stands for. But in true Libra fashion, I am disappointed that something that has generally been pure and true to its’ core concerning subjects chosen to promote one of the most fantastic musical experiences on Earth has chosen a subject that is, well, not exactly true to itself.

And, just to quench that burning question of MY favorite Jazz Fest poster EVAH?

Because, IT’S IRMA, baby!!

 

Boat Songs

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A few weeks ago, I shared that we have begun our journey down the road to river living.  There’ll be more enthralling stories to come, but for now we’re enjoying our new toy.  Last weekend was our first real foray into the waters.  Now, I find myself anxious and excited to get to the end of the week for more than the aspect of “getting my drink on”.

In my ‘weekend’ post, I mentioned taking advantage of the boat’s awesome on-board CD player and my Boat playlist.  Little Deb requested to see/hear it and who am I to deny Little Deb.  So, without further adieu….the Music Maven Weekend Out on the Water Thank the Lord for the Weekend Boat Playlist.

Captain Jim’s Drunken Dream, James Taylor

Life is Beautiful, Keb ‘Mo

The Heart of Life, John Mayer

Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles

Luckenbach, Texas, Waylon Jennings

Old Blue Chair, Kenny Chesney

I’ll Follow the Sun, The Beatles

My Father’s Eyes, Eric Clapton

Live and Let Die, Paul McCartney

Free, Donovan Frankenreiter

Sweet Wanomi, Bill Withers

Sea of Heartbreak, George Straight with Jimmy Buffett

The World Ain’t Slowin’ Down, Ellis Paul

You Really Got a Hold on Me, The Beatles (w/ Billy Preston)

She’s Got a Hold on Me, Hacienda

Too Much Stuff, Delbert McClinton

Walkin’ to New Orleans, Fats Domino

Sending Me Angels, Delbert McClinton

Melissa, Allman Brothers

Pirate Looks at 40, Jimmy Buffett

Really, no rhyme nor reason…just various tunes I dig, especially on the water.  Livin’ for Saturday.

Hope you have a great weekend.  I KNOW I will…

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Weekend Ponderings

Random brain waves….

   Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright), Bob Dylan

  If You Could Read My Mind, Gordon Lightfoot

  A Pirate Looks at 40, Jimmy Buffett

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  Glad to Be Unhappy, John Mayer

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  Help Me Make it Through the Night, Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge

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Posted by on April 17, 2009 in jimmy buffett, John Mayer

 

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Gone Fishin’

Five O’Clock Somewhere, Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett

Margaritaville

Bama Breeze

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2008 in florabama, jimmy buffett, the beach

 

Feelin’ Kenny

Well, yesterday I was feelin’ Jimmy. Then, Amy posted some good stuff about how Kenny is the new Jimmy. I particularly relate to Old Blue Chair:

Oddly enough (and as karma would have it), Lefsetz is in the middle of a Kenny Chesney love fest, so I thought it only appropriate to include a post on Kenny.

Now, I know somebody who knows Kenny Chesney and I hear that he is but a wisp of a fella, however he is just as Lefsetz describes — down to earth and “one of us”. Now, I have extolled how Country is the new Pop and how the genres really have changed over the years, but Lefsetz gets to the heart of the matter much more succinctly than I can.

One of the finer points that he makes that resonates with me is this:

“The rock stars tell you to keep your distance. The rappers want to say how much better they’ve got it than you, with their women and their wheels. The country acts want you to know they’re just like you. That you’re part of their family. But for a quirk of fate, a bit of talent and some extremely hard work, your roles could be reversed. Kenny Chesney doesn’t have a security guard. He cruises Vegas with his assistant. He doesn’t take an entourage to awards shows. Because his audience respects him, gives him the distance he needs, because they believe they own him.

You don’t own the audience, the audience owns you. Too many stars seem to be playing to “Entertainment Tonight” and the rest of the celebrity industry. They get caught up in their fame. They play the roles of celebrities. Whereas country acts are quick to reinforce they’re regular folk, accessible, that they’re there for you and you only.

There’s nothing on tape, just a ten piece band. At times four guitars. A full horn section. The hi-def screens above the stage and hanging from the speakers on the side insure that even those in the cheap seats can see what’s going on onstage. You feel included. In a club you paid your dues to over and over again. You listened on the radio, you bought the albums, why shouldn’t you be respected, you’re the engine driving the enterprise!”

Damn right. I’ve been struggling about how much my opinion on various matters should matter concerning artists that I enjoy. I think Lefsetz hits the proverbial nail on the head in that we should have somewhat of a say as we, as fans, do “own” the artist. And, the artists that are the most successful at packing them into huge stadiums and shows are those, like Kenny and Jimmy, who actually LIKE their fans. They like to be with them, near them, understand them, relate to them.

After all, these guys weren’t born to success. They worked hard for it toiling in dives and bars so that we would spend our hard earned cash to come and see them and support their acts. Then, they relied on us to support them by buying their “records” and paying to see their concerts, maybe even buying a T-shirt that we won’t throw out for 12 years or paying to join some stupid fan club that sends you useless trinkets for the priviledge of better than average concert seats.

Again, it’s all about the kun-NECK-shun. People want to be a part of something. A family. A group. The in-crowd. The rebel crowd. The winning team. There is a basic need that seems particularly true of music lovers, to be a part of all. That’s why word of mouth marketing works so well among “music heads”. We want to know what others in our “group” enjoys and we try it based on the fact that one or more members likes a particular song or artist.

Today, I’m feelin’ Kenny, so NOW HEAR THIS:

Taylor Hicks,

Taking the part of Teen Angel sucks. It is beneath your talent and potential. Take a page out of the Kenny and Jimmy playbooks. Get out there with the fans who really dig your music. Listen to what they have to say. Buy them a beer. Hell, buy me a beer.

Sing THEM a song; something that makes THEM feel good. But, realize that you don’t own the audience. Rather, they own you…they bought what you were selling in 2006. NOT AI, but Under The Radar, Workplay and all the Florabama Mp3s. And, you owe them. Everything.

You owe them more than singing Beauty School Drop Out for five minutes each night this summer. That is lazy. Give them On & On.  Give them The Right Place. Give them a song recorded at the Ray Charles studio or FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. Give them a CD recorded on the Stax label. Give them a “Live from Sun Studios” performance. Give them something of substance from a guy who is supposed to be of substance. You worked hard to establish some credibility with those fans who “bought” you…news flash…you have to work TWICE as hard to keep us, your fans. Kenny and Jimmy get it. You know what? So do Steely Dan, Bon Jovi and Radiohead. C’mon, Taylor, make us proud.

For the record, my favorite Kenny Chesney tune is a toss up between:

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem

and

When the Sun Goes Down

or maybe, it’s this one….

How Forever Feels

 

Feelin’ Jimmy

It’s almost here. Mini-DD’s final exams are nearing completion and tomorrow will mark the official start of summer in our house. It all has me feeling a little Jimmy.

Living on the Gulf Coast, Jimmy Buffett music captures most of the emotions of this “summertime” area. Now, people can dismiss Jimmy as superficial, but I wholeheartedly disagree. Many of his songs have significant meaning and certainly kun-NECK with the listener.

Like the wonderful Pirate Looks at Forty. (with a special message for JenW)

This song captures the feeling of many of us who have to live within an hour of water. For me, I HAVE to spend at least a week each year on the shore, just sitting and staring out into the waves and water contemplating my navel and re-grouping and re-charging to face the challenges of everyday life for another extended period. Pirate Looks at Forty is one of those songs that I play while sitting there at sunset, having a glass of wine and totally relating to the song.

Another Jimmy song that became a favorite in recent years is Trip Around the Sun, done with Country artist Martina McBride.

Again, more navel gazing lyrics but music is very reflective for me and this song conveys the emotions around getting older and the years passing and getting to a certain level of acceptance with that process. Besides, I like the melody.

In Changes in Latitudes, Jimmy gives us more reflection wrapped in a bit of humor. Perhaps part of the reason his music kun-NECKs, is because it’s honest, and it’s him. Jimmy Buffett is always playing for a few hundred (or hundred thousand) friends. Friends who know every word of every song.

I’m looking forward to our annual beach trek in a few weeks. A week chock full of beautiful sunsets, fruity drinks, navel gazing and a little FloraBama.

 

Jazz Fest, Part Deux

So, this weekend is the final weekend of JazzFest in New Orleans. As I related in last week’s post, the schedule is jam-packed with talent. On Thursday, we missed Tower of Power, Betty LaVette, Ruby Wilson, and Widespread Panic, not to mention Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys…and I imagine the hit of the night was Randy Newman’s Louisiana 1927.

Friday’s star-studded line-up includes: Brett Dennen, the incomparable John Prine, family favorite Theryl “The Houseman” deClouet and the great Little Stevie Wonder.

Livin’ for the City

On Saturday, the A T & T Blue Room will be broadcasting live from Jazz Fest. I watched it last year and it was a blast. If you’re looking for a little virtual entertainment this weekend, tune into The Blue Room. You might catch the Marcia Ball, Diana Krall, MM favorite Geno Delafose, Aaron Neville in the Gospel Tent, and the piece de resistance….the one, the only….Jimmy Buffett. Naturally, there will be thousands of Parrotheads rockin’ and a reelin’ to the consummate Gulf Coast Boy.

Margaritaville

Jazz Fest winds up on Sunday with Sonny Landreth, The Radiators, The Raconteurs, Keb Mo, and closes out with the Derek Trucks Band and the hometown reunion of The Neville Brothers.

Big Chief

I’m off to Philadelphia, MS for a little R&R, so have a great weekend and catch the The Blue Room broadcast, if you can.

Peace out.

 
 
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